Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) has been a disciplined force, saying historicallyFebruary 25th, 2009 - 9:41 pm ICT by ANI
Dhaka, Feb.25 (ANI): While a majority of the people around the world may have learnt of the Bangladesh Rifes (BDR) only due to its mutiny against its establishment on Wednesday morning, but generally the BDR has been remarkably free from indiscipline in the past.
“Though the Bangladesh army has a turbulent history of mutinies and revolts, specially between 1975 and 1984, the BDR has been remarkably free from indiscipline,” a B.B.C report quoted Bangladesh security analyst, retired major Shamsul Arefin, as saying.
“Its soldiers have severe resentment about pay and perks and they have angrily represented them from time to time, but they have never revolted. So it has to be seen whether there’’s a conspiracy to use the disaffection to destabilise the new government,” Arefin said, referring to Wednesday’’s mutiny at the BDR’’s Dhaka headquarters.
The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), stated to be the country’’s first line of defence, is meant to patrol the borders, check smuggling and cross-border crime and establish the government’’s authority in remote areas.
During war, the BDR is supposed to provide support to the army.
By 1973 a vigorous recruiting campaign had swelled the Bangladesh Rifles ranks to about 20,000 personnel. Its current strength is around 70,000.
The BDR is under the Home Ministry, but the army plays a major role in staffing, training and directing the force. Most Bangladesh Rifles officers are seconded from the regular army.
The Bangladesh Rifles originated from the East Pakistan Rifles, a force set up in undivided Pakistan, and came into existence shortly after the country’’s independence in 1972.
The original batch of 9,000 troops were mostly East Pakistan Rifles deserters who revolted against the Pakistani officers. However, when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh, wanted to merge the Bangladesh Rifles with the national militia Jatiya Rakkhi Bahini, the BDR stiffly opposed the move.
But that was the first and last time the border force witnessed a situation close to mutiny.
On Wednesday morning (Feb.25), 2009, Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) mutinied reportedly over long pending demands for pay and perks before the establishment.
In the evening, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced amnesty to BDR mutineers after meeting a group of representatives of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) . (ANI)
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Tags: bangladesh rifles, bdr, cross border, deserters, disaffection, east pakistan, founding father, home ministry, indiscipline, line of defence, mujibur rahman, mutinies, mutiny, national militia, regular army, resentment, revolts, rifes, security analyst, turbulent history